Product on Review: SAPPHIRE TRI-X R9 290X 4GB GDDR5 OC
Manufacturer and Sponsor: Sapphire
Street Price: £398.75
The AMD R9-290X, despite its very good performance, never really got our taste buds tingling. It wasn't the boring aesthetics, nor was it the volcanic temperatures of the GPU requiring nothing less than Rolls-Royce supercharger to keep it cool. No, it was all three. You see, we can forgive a hot running card if it is quiet yet powerful. We can overlook a noisy card if it runs cool but gives us the grunt we desire. We can even ignore a boring exterior as its what's inside that counts right? What is unforgivable and the cardinal sin AMD exercised with the R9-290X, was that they created a graphics card that was horrendously noisy, crazy hot and looked (in our opinion) worse than the card it replaced. Sure it was fast, very fast actually, but is that enough?
All hail the Sapphire TRI-X. It aims to resolve the noise and efficiency issues found on the original reference cooler and you can see that this solution certainly looks like it means business with the three cooling fans (hence the TRI-X branding) and funky aesthetics. Add to this a factory overclock and the Sapphire card looks to be a very attractive proposition.
Sapphire's take on the R9-290X TRI-X:
SAPPHIRE R9 290X Tri-X features the latest GCN (graphics core next) architecture from AMD with 2816 stream processing units and an enhanced engine clock of up to 1040Mhz. It is equipped with 4GB of the latest high performance GDDR5 memory on a 512-bit interface and now clocked at 1300 MHz (5.2GHz effective) delivering higher bandwidth than the reference design.